Ep #1: Welcome to the Discomfort Zone Podcast

In this first solo episode, host Anna Levesque introduces and gives context to the Discomfort Zone podcast. A mental agility and whitewater kayak coach, Anna defines mental agility and talks about what inspired her to share conversations with extraordinary folks who take on their discomfort zones for learning, growth and following their passions.

Anna (00:00.694)
Hi everyone and welcome to the first episode of the discomfort zone podcast. I’m really excited that you’re here and I’m excited that you’re coming on this journey with me to dive into conversations about how to face fear and how to get comfortable with discomfort in order to grow and learn and create the life that.

is meaningful to you and follow your passions. And the reason I wanted to start this podcast is because I am someone who is drawn to her discomfort zone over and over again. And I find that it is where I grow and learn and have been able to accomplish extraordinary things in my life. And…

I hear through in books, podcasts, personal development workshops that I’ve taken, it’s common to now hear, get comfortable with discomfort, do hard things. That’s where the growth area, growth and learning happens. And now there’s even scientific research that shows that that’s where the growth and learning happens.

That’s awesome. And it is motivational. What I find more motivational and inspirational is hearing from folks what it feels like to be in their discomfort zone, what strategies they use to face fear and walk through their discomfort zone, because everyone is unique and we experience

discomfort differently. And so I really think, or I believe that when we hear people’s experiences, we might resonate with someone more than others. We might glean a gem from a story we hear about how someone, you know, walk through their discomfort zone or achieve something that we find remarkable. That’s…

Anna (02:25.934)
motivating and inspiring. And so when I looked around my life, and it’s not just when I looked around my life, throughout my life, throughout my 30 years of being in the outdoor industry, being a pro whitewater kayak athlete, a coach, an instructor trainer, author, running my own business in the paddle sports space and the outdoor industry, I have had the privilege

of getting to know, training with, coaching with, learning from amazing folks who are brave enough to keep going back to their discomfort zone. And I really had the, I guess, inspiration or idea to share that. I wanted to share the conversations that I’ve been having because I am a mental agility coach.

And by the way, how I define mental agility is the ability to move quickly and easily from feeling disempowered to feeling empowered. So it’s not just about building up confidence and feeling confident all the time. It’s really how do you respond when things go sideways or don’t go your way, or you feel disempowered, or you had an experience that left you feeling scared or shaken up, how do you recover from that and find your flow again?

And so that’s how I define mental agility. And I coach that and I coach it because I am on a lifelong journey to cultivate more and more of it because I don’t consider myself a naturally confident person. Self-doubt comes up for me quite a bit. It has throughout my whitewater paddling career, both in competition and in running difficult whitewater. And…

And so these conversations to me are fascinating because I get to learn from these incredible people. And I wanna share that with you. I wanna put it out into the world. And this podcast is paddling adjacent. I also want to say that if you have never paddled, have no desire to paddle, you will get something out of this podcast. I am interviewing several

Anna (04:52.962)
high profile and accomplished paddlers. So those of you who are Whitewater enthusiasts, you’ll get some really, there’ll be some episodes that are really focused on paddlers and the conversation is focused around paddling. And I’m also having conversations with therapists, master yoga and meditation teachers, someone who swam the English channel, the-

a person who led the first all-black expedition to Everest. So even if you’re not a paddler, there will be gems, or I hope there will be gems for you. And we’re really focusing on the discomfort zone and mental agility and how you can cultivate that in all areas of your life. Because those of you who are paddlers or outdoor enthusiasts or practice any sport, you know that

Sport reflects life, right? Paddling reflects life. What we learn on the river, like practice hard moves on easy water, look where you wanna go, peel out of the eddy, go with the flow, roll up and keep going, all of these things and more. There are many, many more analogies help us in all areas of life. And I also think it’s powerful.

as I’ve been having these conversations with these remarkable folks, that one, they’re also ordinary folks who have accomplished extraordinary things because they’ve been courageous enough to step into their discomfort zone. And I want you to know that whatever you want to accomplish, you can do it. And it is inspirational for me to hear world champion paddlers talk about how they

when they’re competing, they experience self-doubt. How someone who swims the English channel still can get fat shamed and how she moves through ridiculous criticism like that. Or someone who’s climbing Everest, how they experienced the discomfort zone and how they manage that on multiple days of being in that discomfort zone.

Anna (07:18.446)
or how someone like who is a therapist who knows all about regulating the nervous system, how they move through regulating their own nerves. So to me, being able to see ourselves in these conversations, I hope will provide motivation, inspiration and practical strategies that you can take away. So.

That’s a little bit about the discomfort zone. Thank you for being on this journey with me and thank you for being courageous. And I look forward to hearing feedback from you. So please let me know if there’s an episode that you love, someone you’d like to hear me interview. Please let me know, reach out to me via social media. I’m on Instagram at Anna.

C. Levesque, Levesque is L-E-V-E-S-Q-U-E. You can message me there. You can find me at mindbodypaddle.com or Anna at mindbodypaddle.com. So, I would love to connect with you. I hope you enjoy the podcast and thank you again for listening.